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Grace Shoppper

a beautiful project by some nice pals

Good things come in pairs

Looking to mix up a backend with express/sequelize and a frontend with react/redux? That's boilermaker!

Follow along with the workshop to make your own! This canonical version can serve as a reference, or a starting point all on its own.


To use this boilerplate, you'll need to take the following steps:

  • Don't fork or clone this repo! Instead, create a new, empty directory on your machine and git init (or create an empty repo on Github and clone it to your local machine)
  • Run the following commands:
git remote add boilermaker
git fetch boilermaker
git merge boilermaker/master

Why did we do that? Because every once in a while, boilermaker may be updated with additional features or bug fixes, and you can easily get those changes from now on by entering:

git fetch boilermaker
git merge boilermaker/master


Now that you've got the code, follow these steps to get acclimated:

  • Update project name and description in package.json and .travis.yml files

  • npm install, or yarn install - whatever you're into

  • Create two postgres databases: boilermaker and boilermaker-test (you can substitute these with the name of your own application - just be sure to go through and change the package.json and .travis.yml to refer to the new name)

    • By default, running npm test will use boilermaker-test, while regular development uses boilermaker
  • Create a file called secrets.js in the project root

    • This file is .gitignore'd, and will only be required in your development environment
    • Its purpose is to attach the secret env variables that you'll use while developing
    • However, it's very important that you not push it to Github! Otherwise, prying eyes will find your secret API keys!
    • It might look like this:
      process.env.GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID = 'hush hush'
      process.env.GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET = 'pretty secret'
      process.env.GOOGLE_CALLBACK = '/auth/google/callback'
  • To use OAuth with Google, complete the step above with a real client ID and client secret from Google

  • Finally, complete the section below to set up your linter


Linters are fundamental to any project - they ensure that your code has a consistent style, which is critical to writing readable code.

Boilermaker comes with a working linter (ESLint, with eslint-config-fullstack) "out of the box." However, everyone has their own style, so we recommend that you and your team work out yours and stick to it. Any linter rule that you object to can be "turned off" in .eslintrc.json. You may also choose an entirely different config if you don't like ours:


npm run start-dev will make great things happen!

If you want to run the server and/or webpack separately, you can also npm run start-server and npm run build-client.

From there, just follow your bliss.


Ready to go world wide? Here's a guide to deployment! There are two (compatible) ways to deploy:

  • automatically, via continuous integration
  • manually, from your local machine

Either way, you'll need to set up your deployment server to start:


  1. Set up the Heroku command line tools
  2. heroku login
  3. Add a git remote for heroku:
  • If you're creating a new app...

    1. heroku create or heroku create your-app-name if you have a name in mind.
    2. heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev to add ("provision") a postgres database to your heroku dyno
  • If you already have a Heroku app...

    1. heroku git:remote your-app-name You'll need to be a collaborator on the app.

When you're ready to deploy

Option A: Automatic Deployment via Continuous Integration

(NOTE: This step assumes that you already have Travis-CI testing your code.)

CI is not about testing per se – it's about continuously integrating your changes into the live application, instead of periodically releasing new versions. CI tools can not only test your code, but then automatically deploy your app. Boilermaker comes with a .travis.yml configuration almost ready for deployment; follow these steps to complete the job.

  1. Run git checkout master && git pull && git checkout -b f/travis-deploy (or use some other new branch name).
  2. Un-comment the bottom part of .travis.yml (the before_deploy and deploy sections)
  3. Add your Heroku app name to, where it says "YOUR HEROKU APP NAME HERE". For example, if your domain is, your app name is cool-salty-conifer.
  4. Install the Travis CLI tools by following the instructions here.
  5. Run travis encrypt $(heroku auth:token) --org to encrypt your Heroku API key. Warning: do not run the --add command suggested by Travis, that will rewrite part of our existing config!
  6. Copy-paste your encrypted API key into the .travis.yml file under, where it says "YOUR ENCRYPTED API KEY HERE".
  7. git add -A && git commit -m 'travis: activate deployment' && git push -u origin f/travis-deploy
  8. Make a PR for the new branch, get it approved, and merge it into master.

That's it! From now on, whenever master is updated on GitHub, Travis will automatically push the app to Heroku for you.

Option B: Manual Deployment from your Local Machine

Some developers may prefer to control deployment rather than rely on automation. Your local copy of the application can be pushed up to Heroku at will, using Boilermaker's handy deployment script:

  1. Make sure that all your work is fully committed and pushed to your master branch on Github.
  2. If you currently have an existing branch called "deploy", delete it now (git branch -d deploy). We're going to use a dummy branch with the name "deploy" (see below), so if you have one lying around, the script below will error
  3. npm run deploy - this will cause the following commands to happen in order:
  • git checkout -b deploy: checks out a new branch called "deploy". Note that the name "deploy" here isn't magical, but it needs to match the name of the branch we specify when we push to our heroku remote.
  • webpack -p: webpack will run in "production mode"
  • git add -f public/bundle.js public/ "force" add the otherwise gitignored build files
  • git commit --allow-empty -m 'Deploying': create a commit, even if nothing changed
  • git push --force heroku deploy:master: push your local "deploy" branch to the "master" branch on heroku
  • git checkout master: return to your master branch
  • git branch -D deploy: remove the deploy branch

Now, you should be deployed!

Why do all of these steps? The big reason is because we don't want our production server to be cluttered up with dev dependencies like webpack, but at the same time we don't want our development git-tracking to be cluttered with production build files like bundle.js! By doing these steps, we make sure our development and production environments both stay nice and clean!